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The project was awarded in May of 2019, and construction began mid-July 2019. The work is expected to be complete by spring of 2020.
The City adopted a Downtown Streetscape Plan in 2009. The original initial project goal was for improvements to all of Hoyt and all of Rucker, from Pacific Avenue to Everett Avenue. Hoyt Streetscape was constructed in 2011. That same year, the nearly final design of the Rucker Renewal project was completed and the project shelved awaiting funding. The project later obtained state transportation improvement board funding and was scheduled to be built after completion of the 41st to W. Marine View Drive corridor project, which was completed in 2017.
The 41st to Marine View Drive corridor project has been completed, and the state grant requires the funds to obligated for construction this year.
The completion of the 41st to Marine View Drive corridor project encourages through traffic to pass west of the downtown using West Marine View Drive, reducing traffic impacts during the streetscape project.
Improvements will be constructed on 4 blocks of Rucker Avenue, between Pacific and Everett avenues, as well as 1.5 blocks of Wall Street and one half block of California Street. A one block section of Hoyt Avenue (between Pacific Avenue and Wall Street) will also be bid and constructed concurrently under the same contract, funded by separate state grant funding.
The total cost of the Rucker Renewal project is estimated at $7,629,502.
The total cost of the Hoyt Streetscape Phase 2 project (Pacific to Wall) is estimated at $980,000.
The design will follow guidelines set out in the Downtown Everett Streetscape Plan approved by the Everett City Council in 2009.
Due to the nature of construction in a confined area, dependent on parking and pedestrian access, streetscape projects are known to have an impact to business. City staff are acutely attuned to these impacts and will work with the business community to preserve business vitality as much as possible.
The City’s general contractor will be required to provide a dedicated business liaison to coordinate with property owners during construction to mitigate impacts. This business liaison provides a direct line of contact for businesses to the construction team during the project and has been used successfully for previous downtown streetscape projects, including the Hoyt Streetscape project in 2011.
The Rucker Renewal project is a key piece of the City’s effort to distinguish this portion of Rucker Avenue as part of the core of the downtown residential neighborhood, rather than the more commercial character it exhibits south of the downtown core. Rucker Avenue runs three miles from its northwest end on residential Alverson Blvd to its intersection with the major arterial Evergreen Way to the south, where it splits off for eight blocks into another residential neighborhood. The 2016 freight mobility project improved pedestrian safety in Everett’s Central Business District by redirecting traffic flow for trucks and other vehicles traveling between Interstate 5 and the Port of Everett away from downtown.
As part of the project, the contractor will add pedestrian-friendly features, such as wider sidewalks, landscaping and new lighting, and will add landscaping and trees to the median.
Benefits to streetscape projects are hard to quantify, but data suggests a positive economic climate following a recent streetscape project on Hoyt. A 2015 parking study (the latest study period) showed higher parking utilization at the Hoyt/Colby node than in 2007 (the previous study period). This was the only area in the Central Business District where parking utilization rates were higher in 2015 than the pre-recession levels.